The lords stayed in the capital while Eumelia worked on rehabilitating the troll. The next four months saw great prosperity in the new waterfront and the increase in trade. The gnome oracle was still drinking, so he had started to draw some attention and revenue. Some bandits popped up, but they were quickly dispatched.
The first of Lumendi saw the troll’s release back into the wild, no longer traumatized or interested in killing for sport. The group decided to explore some more, attempting to cover the last bit of the rough map they had in the area. They knew of an abandoned keep northeast of the dryad, and Bryn was especially interested in starting his city there.
Exploring the dryad’s area generated an unfortunate encounter with a familiar owlbear. While riding through the forest, Bryn was assaulted by an overhead animal throwing black, smelly goop in his face. The rest of the group realized it was the owlbear that ripped out the Stag Lord’s heart. Eumelia told it a joke, its laughter causing it to fall out of the tree and land on the group. While the lords were relatively safe, all the mounts were injured by the fall. Once Bryn had wiped his face off, he landed a killing blow on the owlbear while Galienne worked on reviving the mounts.
The group arrived at the abandoned keep on the second of the month. Bryn’s stride through the open gate was interrupted by the falling portcullis. After about a minute of lifting, they finally raised it so that the rest could pass. The inside was circular with four towers attached as well as a courtyard. Investigating the towers, they dealt with a large group of rats as well as a grimstalker with an assassin vine pet. Among the rubble in one of the towers was a sealed tube suggesting elven origin from the mithral and molding. Kalevi quickly realized that it was not an easy lock that kept the scroll case shut. Just as they thought they were done, they were assaulted and confused by two quicklings by their fast speed and stealth. Eumelia was rendered unconscious by a poisoned stab. Galienne attempted to levitate for mobility, but she came crashing down, hearing a jest in her mind. Bryn and Kalevi tried going into the courtyard but fell prey to a gas trap. Kalevi’s common sense decreased as she ascended the middle stairway and found a lovely elven lady who was fond of dancing. Once Galienne has driven off the last quickling, the rest ascended the stairs. When Bryn realized that Kalevi was sitting dumbly next to the lady, and Galienne’s eyes glazed over from the sight of the dance, he dropped Eumelia’s body and drew his falchion. Two hits and her graceful body hit the floor, but not before uttering an occult phrase, sapping Bryn of his health. Cynical and a bit bitter, Bryn decided to camp in the room, knowing it would be his once they cleaned it up. Kalevi worked on the scroll for half an hour before finally opening it. Its contents were a highly detailed map, old but sturdy, criss-crossed with odd lines over the continent and showing a node over the abandoned tower. The map showed a great amount of area, much larger than the map they had been working with, so they knew it to be valuable. Kalevi decided to have some copies made once they returned to town before closing up the tube, giving no sign of tampering, and handing it over to Erramir.
In the morning, Galienne examined her boots and realized that they were intelligent. They were unfortunately evil with a loathing for divine spellcasters, so the group realized they had to destroy them. Galienne and Kalevi chose to burn them with acid about 100 feet away from Bryn’s keep, now named Brynskeep. Bryn and Eumelia stayed back to monitor. As Kalevi opened her vial of acid and poured it on the boots, a giant wall of flame encircled them. Kalevi pushed the boots into the flame before leaping out. Galienne called upon Shekastra to protect her from the fire. When the flames subsided, the boots were charred but intact. The boots tried to thwart further attempts by rising in the air. Galienne pulled out her spiritual weapon to chase after it while Kalevi, still suffering from yesterday’s mindsnuffing mist, threw a tree feather token underneath her in order to chase after the boots. The boots retaliated by trying to burn the tree. Her crazy scheming involving rope and the magic bindings was interrupted by an arcane-embued arrow flying true from Bryn’s bow. He cursed and kicked the boots while Kalevi extinguished the tree with a water elemental and climbed down.